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Game Design Framework and Guidelines Based on a Theory of Visual Attention

Resource type
Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
Author: Milam, David
The design of video games has a tremendous impact in shaping our experience, and one area is through their visual designs. Action games in particular engulf the player in highly dynamic and sensory rich environments where challenges can easily be misperceived. For example, the player may feel overwhelmed, fail to notice important elements, or take the wrong course of action as a result of distractions. Pinpointing and solving these problems are difficult without taking into consideration the underlying mechanisms of human visual information processing. In this effort, this dissertation develops a perception-based game design framework supported by a theory of visual attention. This framework was applied to consider perceptual features of motion affecting the visual design, and their effects on the player’s experience. Perceptual features of motion are often overlooked in games, but cannot be ignored. Perception and attention researchers found numerous effects of motion on users’ task performances and affective responses that are of interest to the game design and user research community. The contribution of this work consists of an investigation of a perception-based framework for elements in motion within commercial and an experimental game called EMOS (Expressive MOtion Shooter). This is followed by identifying and validating two perception-based guidelines. The guidelines are novel such they are empirically expressed, based on expert game designers’ manipulations of perceptual features in EMOS. This contribution also benefits the design and human computer interaction communities, since results include qualitative reflections from game designers concerning this topic.
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The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Bartram, Lyn
Thesis advisor: El-Nasr, Magy Seif
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etd7861_DMilam.pdf 3.14 MB

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